In November 2018, one month after the Angels opted out of their Angel Stadium lease in search of a better deal in Anaheim or elsewhere, the Anaheim City Council authorized an appraisal of the stadium property. In the event that a better deal might involve selling or leasing land to the Angels, the council wanted to know just how much that land might be worth.
The City Council directed the city staff to make the appraisal “available to both the public and Council,” according to the meeting minutes. On Tuesday, the City Council received the results of the appraisal — then declined to share those results with the public.
After a handful of speakers urged the council to be transparent in its negotiations with the Angels, Councilman Jose Moreno proposed a public presentation of the appraisal next month. He needed three votes out of seven. He got two votes, one of them his own.
Then Moreno proposed that the council discuss whether to mandate a 30-day public review of any deal with the Angels. He again needed three votes and got two, one of them his own.
The city and the Angels expect to begin long-awaited negotiations next month, with the city envisioning an “L.A. Live on steroids” sprouting on the parking lots that surround the stadium. In theory, the Angels would use development revenues to pay for a new or renovated stadium, relieving the city of that potential financial burden.
But, with the city’s mayor insisting that the Angels pay fair-market rates for any land, the appraisal is critical. In 2013, the city proposed leasing the land to Angels owner Arte Moreno for $1 per year. That deal collapsed, amid a 2014 appraisal that valued the land at $225 million to $325 million, and the city has no intention of revisiting its $1 proposal.
Anaheim spokesman Mike Lyster said he expected the council and city manager to release the appraisal at a future date. When the city struck a similar deal with the NHL’s Ducks last year, the appraisal for the Honda Center was released publicly five days before the council voted on the deal.
Of the seven seats on the current council, three have changed hands since that vote last November to release the appraisal publicly. On Tuesday, none of the council members who opposed Jose Moreno’s proposal explained why — including Stephen Faessel, who voted last November in favor of releasing the appraisal publicly.
“I’m trying to figure out what the recourse is,” Moreno said, “when a council gives a directive and doesn’t follow its own directive.”